A house without a client, this 5000 sq. ft. house, was built on speculation by a developer in Great Falls, Virginia, serving as a testing ground for home buyers preparing for twenty-first century living and "family values", and attempts to redefine them.
The site is a heavily wooded landscape, sloping sharply down to a creek. The water, bending and moving through the site, becomes a major element, creating a contemplative sound, a reminder of the passage of time within the stillness of the setting.
The house is divided into two parts, spatially, formally, programmatically and structurally. One part is earthbound with heavy masonry structure that follows the contour and curvature of the land. This curved volume creates an entry court and houses the private spaces of the house (bedrooms, kitchen, and the guest suite). The other part is sky bound with a light, wing-like structure that floats above the earth. It is supported by steel columns and is mostly enclosed by glass curtain walls. This part of the house contains all the public areas (family room, dining room and living room) and is roofed with a precisely formed folded plane; lifting upward as it stretches over the house, it emphasizes the human desire for weightlessness.
At its base, the house contains a large open terrace. This area is well integrated into the house and the existing landscape, and replaces the typical "front and back lawn" of suburban living.